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The Crusader Market
The Crusader Market
#About the Crusader Market

The Crusader Market, located under the Western Wall Yeshiva, is the remains of the market that existed here, that the Crusaders built over remains of the Byzantine Cardo that went through here. Later the vaults you see above became the cellars of buildings built above the remains of the Crusader market. Only in 1967, after the Six-Day War and the renovation of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City, was the ancient Crusader Market restored and became an active place.

The delicacies sold here during the Crusader period are now sold elsewhere. The only small part of the market remaining today are the small shops that sell ice cream and drinks to thirsty and hot tourists, making their way to the Western Wall.
Zion Gate
Zion Gate
#About the Gate

Zion Gate, one of Jerusalem's gates, has many names, like "David's Gate," "The Jew's Gate," or the "Jewish Quarter Gate," it is the main entrance into the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The gate was the location of several fights during the War of Independence. If you look around the gate on its external side, you can see the stones of the wall punctuated by bullet holes and mortar shells, which hit the gate during that time. The Palmach fighters even tried to blow it up at one point in order to make it to the Old City, but this attempt failed.

Like the well-known Jaffa Gate, Zion Gate is also a Tafnit Gate, meaning entrance into the gate is only at a 90-degree angle. These types of gates were built to make it harder for enemies attacks to come straight into the city. The idea behind these gates is that anyone coming through has to make a turn while entering the city, slowing down any enemy attack exposing them to the city's protectors.

The name, Zion Gate, comes from the name Mount Zion, which is where the gate leads. This gate already existed on Crusader maps back in the 12th century, only named "Mount Zion Gate." In the British Museum there's a map from the 13th century, only named "Porta Syon."

A Closer Look at the Gate:

Burnt House
Burnt House
#About the House that Burned Down and Discovered in Recently

Imagine the destruction and ruin that the Romans caused during the suppression of the Great Revolt in 70 CE. Apart from the Jewish temple, they destroyed and burned almost every important building for Jews, including the private homes of the priests. One of these houses is the "Burnt House." The house was apparently burned during the conquest of the upper city by the Romans on the 8th of Elul in the Jewish calendar, during the great fire - the fire over the entire city, which also burned down the Temple.

Many years later, in the 20th century, this magnificent building was discovered. This happened during the excavations of the "Upper City" in Jerusalem in 1970. For its own sake, it was awarded for being a unique testimony to the destruction of Jerusalem and the burning of the Jewish city by the Romans. The basement of the house was covered with a very large layer of ash, probably as a result of a huge fire that was set on the western hill, a month after the destruction of the Temple.

#What is Known About the Family That Lived Here?

Findings from the house, especially a certain finding, allowed the researchers to understand which family lived here. On one of the weights found in the house, the archaeologists found the inscription "Bar Kataros." They linked the interesting finding with the Talmud, because they remembered that there was mentioned the Jewish Kataros family, a family of priests who apparently lived near the Temple.

This is how we know today that the burnt house was the home of a Jerusalem family - the Kataros family. This family was one of 24 priestly families who served in the Temple during the Second Temple period. As we know today, we know with certainty that in the magnificent houses on the western hill there were indeed priests, a question that the scholars had been quite deliberating for years.

Incidentally, in the Talmud, the family appeared not necessarily in a positive context. Where it is mentioned specifically in the list of 4 priestly families who took advantage of their status and acted improperly. Wow - history sure can be juicy!

A Closer Look at the Burnt House:

Hurva Synagogue
Hurva Synagogue
#About the Hurva Synagogue

The Hurva Synagogue in the middle of the Jewish Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, is a synagogue named "Beit Jacob." This synagogue was built in the 18th century. A group of immigrants to Israel built this synagogue, whose leader was Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid. After being built, this group was unable to pay for the place, and the Arabs who lent the money and built the synagogue destroyed the building. Since then it has been referred to as "The ruins of the Ashkenazim."

Since then, the remains stood here for a long time. In the 19th century it was finally rebuilt but an orthodox group from among the students of the Vilna Ga'on, Rabbi Eliahu ben Shlomo Zalman.

When the Jordanian army conquered the Old City in 1948, The Arab League destroyed the synagogue. Actually, the destruction occurred even before, during the fights over the Jewish Quarter, when Jordanian soldiers blew up the synagogue, along with others, and the Arab League destroyed what was left.

Since that time, for many years, the synagogue's ruins remained. After the Six Day War and the conquering of the city by the Israeli Defense Force, the build received the nickname "the ruins," or in Hebrew- Hurva. The remains were untouched until 2010 when it was again rebuilt.

A Closer Look at Dancing at the Hurva Synagogue:


Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem Walking Tour

Jerusalem Archaeological Park
Jerusalem Archaeological Park
#About What the Excavations on the Southern Side of the Western Wall Discovered

On the Temple Mount, the Sages (may their memory be blessed) said, "Those who have not seen the Temple of Herod have not seen a beautiful building before." Around you, you can see real remains that will show you what they meant.

Welcome to the excavation site near the southern part of the Temple Mount, outside the walls of the Old City. You are in the Jerusalem Archaeological Park, where you can see the excavations of the southern wall of the Jewish Temple.

Here one can see the steps on which the Sages dwelled and from which the pilgrims entered the Temple.

You can also see a stone from the "house of blowing," the place where the shofar was blown in the Temple Mount.

See also the ashes of the fire from the Romans when they burned Jerusalem.

#The Place of the Stones of the Western Wall

Notice the original pavement from the Herodian street, the one built during Herod's reign. It is the same street that continues northward, to the Western Wall tunnel area, and southward - to the area of ​​the Shiloah Pool in the City of David.

Pay attention to the outlet in the middle of the paving. It may seem to you like just a dent, but it is a remnant of the greatest drama of the Jewish people, which will affect its history for the last two thousand years. This depression was created from a pile of stones that fell on the street, right at the time of the destruction of 70 CE, when the Romans destroyed the Temple.

Most of the stones in the heap above the depression, incidentally, were evacuated from here and buried elsewhere in the compound. This was because it was feared that these stones were part of the Temple itself.

#Robinson's Arch

Raise your head and see the remains of the rainbow that once rose above. This is the Robinson's Arch, named after the British researcher who identified these remains as early as the 19th century. These are the remains of a monumental staircase, which during the Second Temple period tens of thousands of pilgrims climbed into the Temple Mount.

When the arch was complete, it joined up with the almost complete base, which is below. See it? - Pretty. Note that this is perhaps the most ancient interchange in the world and perhaps the first in history.

#What is the Southern Wall?

The southern wall is the continuation of the Western Wall, to the south. It is also almost as high as the Western Wall. It is located on the southern side of the wall that supports the Temple Mount plaza in the Old City and in fact is the southern wall of the entire Old City.

All findings you see in the archaeological garden, were discovered in the excavations carried out there after the liberation of the Old City in the Six Day War.

The southern wall is considered one of the most important archaeological discoveries in the Old City, alongside the excavations that exposed the Western Wall tunnels and the Western Wall itself.

Alongside the important discoveries that you see here in Jewish history, the importance attributed to the southern wall is also connected to the Muslim belief that here, right here, Muhammad tied his mare to the Wall and went up to the Temple Mount to pray there and ascend to Heaven.

A Close Look at the Western Wall Excavations at Night:

Western Wall
Western Wall
#About the Holiest Place for the Jewish People

You are facing the holiest place for the Jewish people. This is the Western Wall of the Second Jewish Temple. Known as the "Kotel" in Hebrew, this is the only surviving remnant, after the destruction of the Roman Revolt by Titus, the commander of the Roman Legions, in the year 70 CE.

For hundreds of years, after the destruction of the Temple, the Western Wall was not a prayer place for Jews living in the country. It was only in the 16th century, when the government began prohibiting Jews from ascending to the Temple Mount, that the Western Wall became a place of Jewish prayer and a symbol of yearning for the Temple. At the foot of the Western Wall there was a narrow alleyway where the Jews prayed as close as possible to the site of the Temple.

After the establishment of the State of Israel, when Jerusalem was divided (1948-1967), the Kingdom of Jordan ruled the Western Wall and prohibited Jewish access to the Wall. Many Jews used to go to Mount Zion and pray on King David's tomb, watching from the top of the building toward the Temple Mount and hoping for a day when they could go back and pray at the Western Wall.

At the end of the Six Day War, the worshipers streamed en masse to the Jewish Quarter and the Western Wall. Then houses of the Mughrabi neighborhood, which were adjacent to the Western Wall, were demolished and the large prayer plaza adjacent to the Western Wall was built.

#The Wall's Structure

The Kotel is one of four huge retaining walls built during the first century BCE, in the renovation of Herod's Second Temple. The builders then created Mount Moriah, a huge square with the Temple in its center. The length of the Western Wall was half a kilometer and about 30 meters high. It was built on the bedrock of Jerusalem, with the space between the walls and the mountain filled to create a huge, paved plaza, with an area of ​​144,000 square meters, an area similar to that of 12 soccer fields.

The wall was built of hewn stones, huge in size, each weighing between 2 and 5 tons. Each of the stones of the Western Wall is carved in the manner typical of the construction of Herod's reign, with its slightly protruding stone center, as opposed to the carved stone frame, smoother and more submerged.

If you stand near the wall and look up, you will see that each layer of stones is retreated in about three centimeters, compared to the layer below. This is a construction technique whose function is to provide stability and strength to the ancient structure, since the construction of the massive structures and retaining walls at the time did not yet use concrete.

Today the Western Wall is used for religious services and gatherings, and many come to celebrate the Bar Mitzvah ceremony, completion of a military tracks, and other celebrations.

#How Did the Western Wall Remain Intact, and Was Not Destroyed?

For many years, the belief among the Jews was that the Western Wall of the Temple had never been destroyed. Already in the first few centuries after the destruction, the generations were amazed at how the fate of the Western Wall improved and it survived, unlike the other three walls.

The religious answer was that it was the wall closest to the resting place of the Divine Presence. The Ark of the Covenant in the First Temple near the Western Wall. This was the case in the First Temple. But in the Second Temple the Ark of the Covenant was no longer in the Temple, so what saved the Wall from destruction?

The claim of the believers is that even if the Holy Ark has disappeared, the Divine Presence never moved from the Western Wall of the Temple and therefore it continued to preserved from destruction.

But there is another story, a Jewish legend, which explains the preservation of the Western Wall from destruction. According to the story, Titus, the commander of the Roman Legion who conquered Jerusalem, ordered four of the senior commanders under him to destroy the Jewish Temple. Each of them was ordered to demolish one of the walls of the Temple. The one who was left to destroy the Western Wall tried to carry out the order, but failed. When Titus asked him why he had not completed his ordered, the frightened commander replied that if he had destroyed the last remaining wall, future generations could not see how impressive the Temple was, before it was destroyed by Titus. Titus, pleased with the flattering answer, left the wall standing.

By the way, we know today that the Western Wall was much taller in height. Over the generations, the wall was almost completely destroyed and what remains of it is the Western Wall of today.

A Closer Look at the Western Wall in Jerusalem:

#About the Central and Ancient Street in Jerusalem

There are not many streets in the world that you can see different time periods, such as at the Cardo in the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem. On this ancient street, we will start moving towards the Roman period, continuing to the Byzantine period. Remains of the Crusader and Ottoman periods are seen - the periods when it was buried underground and we see its awakening to life in the modern Israeli era.

In general, "Cardo," which in Latin means "heart," means the center. The Cardo Street in the Roman cities is the heart of the city - the same street where most of the city's commerce and traffic take place. The model of such a street among the Romans was permanent and they used to replicate it in many cities and military camps. It can be found mainly in the Roman cities of the Middle East, North Africa, Syria and Jordan. In Israel, too, it is located in the remains of the cities of Caesarea and Antipatris, Tel Afek, near Rosh Ha'ayin.

The Cardo in the Jewish Quarter is a wide, stone-paved street that was discovered here in the 1970's. It was excavated and then restored to an active trading street today, with shops and services, allowing to experience a little of the past in today's modern age.

The total width of the cardo is 22.5 meters and only part of it is exposed. At its center, there is a passage, some of which has an open top, and 12.5 meters wide. On both sides of the cardo there is a row of shops and above it a tiled roof, supported by a row of stone pillars 5 meters high. The roof protects the street from rain and sun. Incidentally, except for one column, all the exposed pillars were broken. Only one column was discovered intact, beneath the foundations of the Tzemach Tzedek Synagogue at the southern end of the Cardo.

The cardo is one of the rare cases in which it has revived around 2,700 years later, and turned it into an active trading environment. This did not happen in other places in Jerusalem, where such initiatives were refuted by archaeologists who said, and generally rightly, that everyday life should not be allowed to destroy ancient, historical and scientific heritage. Here, in the Cardo of the Jewish Quarter, they were able to connect contemporary and ancient history and turn them into one.

#About the Architects Who Told the Archaeologists Where to Dig

This wonderful story is told in architectural schools all over the world and it deals with the ancient street discovered by modern architects diligent and talented, the power of study and originality of thought.

The Cardo was not normally excavated by determined archaeologists. In fact, it is an archaeological discovery that was born in the minds of three young architects who won a bid for the restoration of the Jewish Quarter, in order to restore life to it, after it became a poor slum during the Jordanian rule.

The young architects examined the map of Madaba, an ancient map discovered on the floor of a church in Jordan, in which Jerusalem appeared in some detail. They saw that the cardo appeared on the map, the main colonnade of the Old City. They pointed to a certain place and claimed that the cardo was hiding below. A senior archaeologist, with whom they consulted, laughed. However, he agreed to dig and examine the place where they claimed to be hiding the route of the ancient street. Quickly he encountered a hard layer and then again and again, in many places. There's a floor there, the experts determined. As you already understand, there was a street there. But is it the Cardo?

The excavation began with the aim of discovering the neat foundations of the columns, exposing the drainage channel into which the rainwater flowed from the roofs of the street houses, and from there exposing the ancient street itself. It turned out that the architects were right all along. Archaeologists have also agreed that this is indeed the famous cardo.

In the next stage the builders began to renew the old cardo and integrate it into a modern commercial street. From a pile of workshops and neglected houses, next to ruins of the War of Independence, they created a reconstructed commercial street, on the lower floors of which were shops and residential units on the upper floors, which were built above them.

Today, the Cardo is one of the most famous reconstructions in the world, a street that combines old, new, antique with renovated and modern shopping in a complex that has the scent of antiquity.

#What is a Map of Madaba?

The map of Madaba is a mosaic map made around the 6th or 7th century and is located in a church in Medina, Jordan. The map depicts the Land of Israel and its surroundings, with special emphasis on religious sites. The famous section on the map is the section describing Jerusalem.

The map of Madaba is an example of an ancient map that is not intended for navigation in the field. This is because it was not drawn according to a geographical scale, but according to the religious-spiritual importance of the places that appear in it (more important places are highlighted and large on the map). This is also why it was found in an ancient Christian prayer place, St. George's Church. In addition, the map is the earliest historical evidence for the construction of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem.

A Closer Look at the Cardo in Jerusalem:


אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

העולם הוא צבעוני ומופלא, אאוריקה כאן בשביל שתגלו אותו...

אלפי נושאים, תמונות וסרטונים, מפתיעים, מסקרנים וממוקדים.

ניתן לנווט בין הפריטים במגע, בעכבר, בגלגלת, או במקשי המקלדת

בואו לגלות, לחקור, ולקבל השראה!

אֵאוּרִיקַה - האנציקלופדיה של הסקרנות!

נראה שכבר הכרתם את אאוריקה. בטח כבר גיליתם כאן דברים מדהימים, אולי כבר שאלתם שאלות וקיבלתם תשובות טובות.
נשמח לראות משהו מכם בספר האורחים שלנו: איזו מילה טובה, חוות דעת, עצה חכמה לשיפור או כל מה שיש לכם לספר לנו על אאוריקה, כפי שאתם חווים אותה.